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Fundamentals of Communications

Fundamentals of Communications

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Fundamentals of Communications

17: GSM I
EE3158
Professor Ian Groves
ian.groves@kcl.ac.uk www.ctr.kcl.ac.uk/members

GSM I
 Basic components of GSM
 MS / SIM / ME / BTS / BSC  MSC / VLR / HLR / IN / AuC / EIN

 Basic Processes of GSM
    Handover Paging Location Updating Incoming / Outgoing Call

 Message flow sequences

EE3158 – Lecture 17

Fundamentals of Communications

Slide 2

Basic Components of GSM AuC HLR BTS VLR other BSSs BSC BTS BTS MS: SIM: BTS: BSC: HLR: VLR: AuC: IN: Mobile Services Switching Centre (MSC) IN Fixed line telephone network MS including SIM Mobile Station Subscriber Identity Module other MSCs Base Transceiver Station Base Station Controller Home Location Register Visited Location Register Authentication Centre Interrogating Node Fundamentals of Communications Slide 3 EE3158 – Lecture 17 .

 It comprises two parts:  a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) and  the Mobile Equipment (ME).1. EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 4 . Mobile Station  MS is the physical equipment used by a GSM subscriber (their ‘mobile handset’).

Major functions are to identify the current user of an MS and to take part in security and confidentiality procedures. generation of ciphering key.g.2. encryption key Kc and lists of preferred / forbidden GSM networks  Semi permanent storage of user data. current Location Area Identity (LAI). ‘telephone directory’.g. instigation of location updates. It also stores recent location data and may also store personal information for the user such as abbreviated dialling codes (telephone directory). short messages  Participation in mobility procedures e.  Protected by PIN EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 5 . Specific functions include:  Permanent storage of a subscriber’s International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) and Authentication key (Ki)  Semi permanent storage of system information e. user authentication. Subscriber Identity Module  (SIM) is a smart card which carries all the subscriber specific information used by an MS.

discontinuous transmission (DTX). slow frequency hopping (SFH). Mobile Equipment  (ME) provides the radio and processing needed to access the GSM network. keypad.3.  Call handling  man-machine interface. speech transducers. Specific functions  radio transceiving and signal processing  radio related operations: power control. display. timing advance. laptops / palmtops EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 6 .g. plus a man machine interface MMI to enable the user to access services.  interfaces to external equipment e.

4. A ‘sophisticated’ radio modem. It comprises radio transmitting and receiving equipment (including antennas) and associated signal processing. Specific functions include:  antennas (with diversity)  radio transceiving and signal processing  sending TDMA timing advance instructions to MS  implementation of radio related operations: slow frequency hopping (SFH). ciphering and power control. discontinuous transmission (DTX). Base Transceiver Station  (BTS) provides GSM radio coverage within a cell. EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 7 .

5. Base Station Controller  (BSC) is a small switch with enhanced processing capability. It manages the radio channel and undertakes control of a variety of radio related procedures ensuring that reliable radio links are maintained. It acts as a local concentrator of traffic and provides local switching to effect handover between a number of BTSs. Its responsibilities include:     co-ordination and control of a number of BTSs traffic concentration low level switching operations network management interface to all radio elements EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 8 .

discontinuous transmission (DTX). ciphering and power control  service transcoding.g. converting speech from 13 kbit/s to 64 kbit/s     EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 9 . changing air interface rates to network rates e.g.5. LAI (Location Area Identity) to BTSs for onward transmission  queuing  control of radio related operations: slow frequency hopping (SFH). Base Station Controller… 2 radio channel management handover between BTSs within its domain scheduling of paging request passing system information e.

the Mobile-services Switching Centre and Visitor Location Register (VLR) are invariably implemented as a single MSC/VLR unit. Specific responsibilities of the MSC include:     call control generation of call records supplementary service execution inter BSC and inter MSC handover  Whilst they are identified as distinct entities within the specifications. Responsible for call handling of the mobile subscribers within its domain. this includes generating call charging records (for billing).6. EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 10 . Mobile Switching Centre  (MSC) is an ISDN switch with (significantly) enhanced processing capability. An MSC will parent a number of BSCs.

7. This includes their International Mobile Subscriber Identities (IMSI). Responsibilities of the VLR include:      executing supplementary service programs (outgoing calls barred) initiating authentication and ciphering initiating paging mapping of various identities (MSISDN. It stores (on a temporary basis) the information needed to handle calls set up or received by MSs registered with it and controls certain services (primarily those associated with outgoing calls). MSRN) passing location information to HLR EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 11 . TMSI. IMSI. Visitor Location Register (VLR) is an intelligent database and service control function. current Location Area Identities (LAIs) and supplementary service entitlements.

It is responsible for determining the location of a called subscriber and for routeing calls accordingly. EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 12 . The IN is commonly combined with an MSC forming what is known as a Gateway MSC (GMSC). Interrogating Node  (IN) is the target for calls bound for GSM users.8.

Responsibilities of the HLR include: management of service profiles mapping of subscriber identities (MISDN.9. It carries subscription details for a subscriber and location information enabling the routeing of incoming calls towards the subscriber. Home Location Register  (HLR) is an intelligent database and service control function responsible for management of each subscriber’s records and control of certain services (primarily those associated with incoming calls).e.g. incoming calls barred. i. IMSI) supplementary service control and profile updates execution of supplementary service logic e.  passing subscription records to VLR     EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 13 . the MSC/VLR currently serving the MS.

 The principle is that the AuC and the SIM have a unique key for every subscriber (Ki) which is used as the basis for generating a response (SRES) to a random number (RAND) generated by the AuC. i.  The AuC is generally integrated with the HLR.10. Only the true SIM will be able to generate the correct response and thus gain access to the network.e. Authentication Centre  (AuC) is an intelligent database concerned with the regulation of access to the network ensuring that services can be used only by those who are entitled to do so and that the access is achieved in a secure way.another database that holds a list of ‘allowed’ equipment identities. ME numbers: white / grey / black lists] EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 14 .  [Also EIR the Equipment Identity Register .

GSM Processes  Handover  brief introduction  Paging  Location Area  Location Update  Location Area Message Sequence as example  Incoming Call  Outgoing Call EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 15 .

there is the need to route the call to the new cell before handover can be effected whilst maintaining the old connection until the new connection is known to have succeeded.  Handover is a time critical process requiring action to be taken before the existing radio link degrades to such an extent that the call is lost.  Handover is a complex process requiring synchronisation of events between the mobile station and the network.  In particular. automatically and without loss of service. EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 16 .Handover  Handover is the means of maintaining a call when a user moves outside the coverage area of the serving cell.  The call must be switched to an alternative cell to provide service.

 An extreme approach would be to undertake paging throughout the entire coverage area of a cellular system whenever a mobile is to be alerted. however. particularly over the air interface.  If the system does not know the precise cell in which a mobile is located it must perform paging in a number of cells. EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 17 . for example if there is an incoming call to be received.Paging  Paging is a process of broadcasting a message which alerts a specific mobile to take some action.  The problem is addressed by the use of location areas and location updating. in anything but the smallest system this would be wasteful of valuable signalling capacity.

 The cellular coverage area is divided up into a number of location areas.  All cells broadcast the identity of their Location Area (LAI).Location Updating  Location updating is used to reduce the area over which paging must be undertaken in a cellular system. this enables the network to perform paging over a smaller area than would otherwise be necessary.  Each time a mobile station observes that it has moved into a new location area it informs the network by performing a location update. the system would know very precisely where a mobile was but at the expense of a very high level of location update signalling. As a compromise location areas are generally defined as a group of cells.  In the extreme case each cell could be a location area. EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 18 .

. EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 19 ..Location Area Public Land Mobile Network (PLMN) MSC / VLR Area Location Area Cell  GSM Network Areas.

e. Vodafone / Orange etc.  MSC / VLR Area  a group of Location Areas served by one MSC / VLR.GSM Network Areas  Public Land Mobile Network  the area served by one operator.g. e. all the cells connected to that MSC / VLR  Location Area  a Group of Cells within one MSC/VLR Area identified by its Location Area Identity (LAI)  Cell  identified by its Cell Global Identity number (CGI) corresponds to the radio coverage are of one base transceiver station EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 20 . i.

the MSC/VLR addresses a message to the HLR.  The HLR notes the new location (VLR) and downloads security parameters to allow the network to authenticate the mobile.Location Update  The MS detects that it has entered a new location area by comparing the last known LA (stored on the SIM) with the information broadcast by the local cell.  If the serving MSC/VLR is unchanged the network can immediately authenticate the MS and note the change of LA.  The MS gains access to a radio channel and requests a location update. it also passes on subscription details of the user to the new VLR and informs the old VLR to delete its records.  If the MS has moved MSC/VLR. EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 21 .

EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 22 .

LA Update Message Sequence            EE3158 – Lecture 17 MS to NEW MSC (via BSS) New MSC to NEW VLR New VLR to HLR HLR to OLD VLR OLD VLR to HLR HLR to NEW VLR NEW VLR to HLR HLR to NEW VLR NEW VLR to NEW MSC NEW VLR to MS – – – – – – – – – – location updating request update location area update location cancel location cancel location ACK insert subscriber data insert subscriber data ACK update location ACK update location area ACK location updating accept ACK = acknowledge Fundamentals of Communications Slide 23 .

Revision      Components of GSM System Handover Location Areas Location Area Update Location Area Update Message Sequence EE3158 – Lecture 17 Fundamentals of Communications Slide 24 .

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